Author: Brett Pollakoff

Steve Ballmer, Doc Rivers

Clippers turn Lakers’ locker room into ‘Owners Lounge’ during playoffs

source: AP
Steve Ballmer, Doc Rivers

The Lakers just finished up their worst season in franchise history, and missed the playoffs completely for the second straight year.

All that’s left, apparently, is for the Clippers add insult to injury.

This is simply the reality of what happens when multiple professional sports franchises share the same arena. The NHL’s L.A. Kings, for example, are having their locker room similarly used by ownership of the Clippers’ first-round playoff opponent, the San Antonio Spurs.

But there is a segment of the Lakers’ rabid fan base that will be as insulted by this as they were when the Clippers covered up all those Lakers championship banners — a gesture which, by the way, was equally as harmless.

Nets coach Lionel Hollins isn’t focused on stopping Kyle Korver: ‘It’s not like we’re talking Stephen Curry’

Brooklyn Nets v Atlanta Hawks- Game One

Kyle Korver led all scorers during Atlanta’s Game 1 win over the Nets, finishing with 21 points on 6-of-12 shooting, which included knocking down 5-of-11 from three-point distance.

But Nets coach Lionel Hollins wasn’t that impressed.

Despite the way Korver was able to get loose repeatedly against Brooklyn’s defense, Hollins doesn’t seem too concerned about game-planning to make sure that Game 2 doesn’t feature a repeat performance.

From Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News:

Told on Monday that Korver statistically could be the regarded as the greatest 3-point shooter of all time, the coach launched into a long answer about why it’s not worth focusing his planning on a player who, a day earlier, hit 5 of his 11 3-point attempts while scoring a game-high 21 points. …

“How many shots did he take yesterday and how many did he miss? See, if he’s that good, he’d make all of them.” Hollins said. “Everybody misses, man. He’s a good shooter, I acknowledge that, we acknowledge that as a team, we game plan for him because he is a great shooter. But until he starts shooting 100%, we’ve got to play and be in position to help, and then recover, and close out.

“It’s not like we’re talking (Stephen) Curry. Korver, he’s a great come-off-the-screen guy, he’s great with moving without the ball, but he rarely puts the ball on the floor like Curry and shakes you up.”

Hollins is right, but only to a certain extent.

Korver finished the regular season fifth on the Hawks in scoring, so the Nets focusing their defensive strategy on slowing Korver alone wouldn’t be likely to produce the desired results.

What Atlanta does so well is run an equal-opportunity offense that provides open looks for all of its players, possession after possession — it’s why Mike Budenholzer was able to come away with Coach of the Year honors.

Brooklyn’s best chance defensively would be to help as little as possible, do a better job of defending on a one-on-one basis, and stay at home on the shooters. Stopping Korver alone shouldn’t be the number one priority. But limiting his open looks, especially considering just how deadly he can be, should certainly be near the top of Hollins’ list.

Phil Jackson says he’ll consider trading Knicks’ first-round draft pick

New York Knicks v Los Angeles Lakers

The Knicks just finished their worst season in franchise history, and as a reward for that dubious accomplishment, the team is guaranteed a top-five selection in this summer’s NBA Draft.

New York has a 55.8 percent chance of landing a top-three pick, and a 38.7 percent chance of picking in the top two.

Exactly where that pick lands may help determine whether or not the Knicks keep it. A report emerged recently that claimed the Knicks would be open to trading the pick, and Phil Jackson confirmed it as a possibility when speaking to reporters on Tuesday.

From Frank Isola of the New York Daily News:

Phil Jackson says he’d consider trading the Knicks lottery pick…GM’s everywhere now lining up to dump their bad contracts.

From Ian Begley of ESPN New York:

Phil Jackson reiterates that he will consider trading the Knicks’ 1st round pick but he’d prefer to develop the pick into a franchise talent

There’s plenty of talent to be had at the top of this draft, with guys like Karl-Anthony Towns, Jahlil Okafor and Emmanuel Mudiay all expected to be capable of making a significant impact in their very first NBA seasons.

But if a team came calling with multiple future first-round picks, along with an All-Star talent that could jumpstart the rebuilding process — someone like DeMarcus Cousins, perhaps — then Jackson would (of course) consider those somewhat tempting options.